Kansas City faces big issues on Tuesday ballot - KCTV5

Kansas City faces big issues on Tuesday ballot

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The April ballot carries several important items, especially for those living in Kansas City. (KCTV5) The April ballot carries several important items, especially for those living in Kansas City. (KCTV5)

With several big items on Tuesday's ballot, poll workers are prepared for a wave of metro residents.

A new animal shelter, an $800 million bond issue and the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana are all on the ballot.

One of the items on the ballot is Question 5, which proposes a limited punishment for people caught holding 35 grams of marijuana or less, imposing a maximum fine of $25 for the infraction and eliminating the possibility of jail time. The question also removes marijuana from prohibition against drug paraphernalia.

Opponents of the measure, and Fifth District Councilwoman Alissia Canady, says Kansas City rarely jails people for having 35 grams or less of marijuana. Instead, they often plead down to a fine or community service.

Supporters say the measure would create consistency across Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties.

In January, the only vote against the initiative was Mayor Sly James. He’s expected to cast his ballot at 7:30 a.m. at the U.S. National Archives on 400 W. Pershing Road.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot, three questions about the city’s infrastructure.

The questions are part of an $800 million bond issue.

The money would go toward things like fixing sidewalks, drainage in the Brookside neighborhood, the flooding issue for Brush Creek and several other cosmetic fixes. It would lock taxpayers into a 20-year commitment.

Some who oppose the measure are concerned the promises of a better infrastructure won’t come true. But supporters say it’s the most responsible things government can do.

If approved, it means the city council will issue 20 different 20-year bonds going out to the year 2036.

Kansas City voters will also have the option of helping the 10,000 animals that are rescued and taken into the city’s main animal shelter every year.

KC Pet Project currently sits next to a capped landfill, inside a 45-year-old building that was originally used to store construction equipment for Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums.

The city re purposed the building but the property has sinkholes, bad drainage, ceiling leaks and is not ADA compliant.

The new space would be 60,000 square-feet at the corner of Gregory Boulevard and Elmwood Avenue at Swope Park. It would be across the street from a dog park and would offer education opportunities and supporters say it would ultimately be a “destination” and not just a shelter.

The new shelter would be part of the $800 million bond issue and would carry a $14 million price tag.

If the vote doesn’t pass, the shelter says the state could come in, at any time, and shut them down. This would leave the city with another crisis, dealing with the 10,000 animals the shelter currently helps.

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